Popular deli owner in Darien needs stem cells to stave off leukemia

Colandro runs Mama Carmela’s on the Post Road and was first diagnosed with lymphoma 11 years ago. He beat it, but it came back two more times. He's now been in remission for five years.

News 12 Staff

May 10, 2021, 7:19 PM

Updated 1,074 days ago

Share:

Frank Colandro, the owner of a popular deli in Darien, has spent decades supporting the town, local sports teams and the schools. Now, he’s in need of support in the form of stem cells.
Colandro runs Mama Carmela’s on the Post Road and was first diagnosed with lymphoma 11 years ago. He beat it, but it came back two more times. He's now been in remission for five years.
But Colandro needed more than 320 hours of chemotherapy, which destroyed his stem cells. His doctors say he's at high risk for leukemia and needs to find a stem cell donor.
The deli owner posted about it on social media, and his customers and friends are helping to get the word out.
A drive-thru stem cell registration event is being held on May 22 at the south side of the Noroton Heights train station from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“You don't even have to get out of your car,” he says. “They have people coming in from Be The Match and they're going to swab people and that's all you got to do.”
Colandro says his doctors told him that it’s not a matter of if he gets leukemia, it's when – and the sooner he can get a transplant, the better.
“I'm just hoping for that donor,” he says.
People who are between the ages of 18-44 and willing to donate to any patient in need can join the Be The Match Registry today. Text mamadeli to 61474. Complete the online registration and a cheek swab will be mailed to you. If you are found to be a match and go on to donate, the patient's doctor will request that you donate either peripheral blood stem cells or marrow. You can also contact nmdpdonor@dfci.harvard.edu.


More from News 12